BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School held its annual Big Nick Classic March 9, and, for only the fifth time in the event’s history, the students took the win.
The event pits teachers against students in a basketball game, and, this year, the students took home the win, 50-48.
“Each year, 25 eighth graders are chosen to play against the faculty,” BRMS principal Nancy Iatesta said. “This year’s game was the 17th annual, and the fifth time the students have won.”
“We also have a faculty cheerleading squad along with our eighth grade cheerleaders who perform at half time,” she added.
Iatesta said that Nick Klecz was a teacher and coach in the school district and for Bridgewater Recreation for more than 34 years.
“He was the type of teacher and coach who was a proponent for the athlete who exhibited good sportsmanship, school spirit, teamwork and respect,” she said.
Iatesta said Klecz retired in 2000, and died shortly after that.
“His family wanted to support a fund to give back to Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School,” she said. “We came up with the idea of an eighth grade student versus faculty basketball game.”
The first game was held in 2001, and the money raised goes toward purchases for the physical education program. For example, the scoreboard in the gym is dedicated to Klecz.
In addition, Iatesta said, four graduating seniors receive the Nick Klecz Scholar Athlete Award with an honorarium at the awards ceremony in June.